“What do we tell our students who are talking about their parents’ reactions to the election?”
“What do you suggest I say to my children about the outcome of the election?”
I have received a number of emails from parents and from teachers asking what I suggest we say in classrooms or at home. I am humbled to be asked and I hope this post helps those who are struggling or are unsure about what to say.
First and foremost, I believe in telling children truth. They know when we are not honest. We need to find a truth that they can understand. It doesn’t have to be terrifying. It just has to teach our children a most basic lesson about life. So what is the truth of these events? If we strip away the sensationalism, the emotions and the rhetoric what is left? What remains is what always remains when life seems daunting. We have some things to learn. That is what we tell the children. We have things to learn about each other and how things work.
When you have lived a while, you come to know that the greatest learning comes from the hardest times. No matter who you supported in this election, the country is not the same. There is a shift, a change and we need to pay attention and learn from it. We need to learn to listen to each other more closely. There are people who weren’t happy with how things were on both sides of the political aisle and too many people didn’t listen. Young voters said, “No – we don’t want that establishment.” Other voters said, “We want change.” We became polarized instead of trying to find the common ground. What do we tell the children? From everything, children, we try to figure out what we need to learn.
Let’s learn to listen to each other a little more. Teach the children that now is the time that we have to try harder to find what we have in common instead of what divides us. Let’s learn about the people who thought differently and open ourselves up so they can learn about us. Let’s do it with kindness, compassion and empathy.
We tell our children that in every life, there is happiness, sadness, joy and disappointment. That is true for people and for the life of a country. We will be okay. That is truth because resilience is real and we can all be brave and resilient.
We inform our children that it is evidence that we cannot believe everything we hear on our televisions or on the internet. The information has been so inaccurate. We need to do a better job of ignoring fiction and looking for fact.
We teach the children that in America, we still have a right to say what we think and that’s as true today as it was yesterday. This is a great country because it is bigger than just one person. When you believe in something or you don’t, you still get to say so. Let’s all just work to say it a little better with a little more respect and caring for each other.
We will be okay. We will learn our lessons. People have an amazing ability to adapt, change and move forward.
You can learn so much more from me online! “Helping Preschools Achieve with Cynthia Terebush” – An Online Learning and Support Community for Early Childhood Professionals. Now with individual memberships and staff bundles. Check out my informational video HERE and go to Helping Preschools Achieve for more details.
And in person….Go to my full website for information about webinars, presentations and individual consulting for parents and educators -Helping Kids Achieve.
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